Vulnerable people in Cornwall were likely to be left reeling in disbelief at the glowing terms in which a web news service has described their local Job Centre.
Is this an outlier of the campaign that saw the free Metro newspaper run a huge – and hugely expensive to the taxpayer – propaganda campaign on Universal Credit over the summer?
The plan – before it was outed by This Site, among many others – was to present the propaganda as a series of news stories, with nothing to indicate that the Department for Work and Pensions was responsible.
And the backlash led to revelations that the DWP had been filling local news outlets with similar disinformation, intended to brainwash people into thinking that the overwhelming disaster we call Universal Credit is somehow a good thing.
Judge for yourself whether the article in Cornwall Live is news or propaganda. It states:
“The Jobcentre is the only government department you can come in off the street without an appointment.”
Really? This Writer cannot recall the last time I attended a Job Centre without an appointment – or accompanied anybody else who didn’t have one.
“Services users – known these days as customers rather than benefit seekers – have a set appointment to suit their needs and are met with smiling greeting staff. Waiting times are no more than a few minutes.”
Because “smiling” staff have an opportunity to cancel anybody’s claim if they are late by even a moment?
“Anyone coming through the doors will be met by staff on the ground floor who will help people sign up for Universal Credit or help them find employment but upstairs is another floor with capacity to increase the number of work coaches if required or host job fairs, events and seminars and courses.”
Are people claiming sickness or disability benefit required to attend appointments upstairs? And is there a lift?
“[Jamie Dean, Jobcentre customer service manager for Devon and Cornwall District, said:] ‘Universal Credit is so much better than the previous claim systems. It’s the Facebook of the benefits world. It moves it to the 21st century.'”
Does this mean it stops people seeing the information they want, while trying to take money off them at every opportunity?
“Mr Dean believes the fit-to-work agenda is one that has attracted the wrong kind of headlines when people who claimed to be invalidated off work were seen kite surfing in the Caribbean.”
This reinforces the false claim that people claiming sickness and disability benefits are “shirkers” who have nothing wrong with them.
“But not all disabilities are physical. Mental health, depression, stress can all affect a person’s ability to work.”
And mental illnesses are not taken into account when judging a person’s eligibility for sickness and/or disability benefits. There is no place for them on the computerised, tick-box, point-based system that has been used by the DWP – in the face of the evidence that it is wrong – for many years.
This nonsense goes on and on. Click on the link and scroll down, and you’ll see that it is full of disinformation about the Tory government’s broken-down system.
I have a doubt about this feature. I doubt that staff members at Cornwall Live had anything to do with it beyond putting it on a page.
It looks like an advertorial for the DWP in Cornwall, put together by the DWP to create a false impression of the work it carries out.
I see no information to show this.
It seems a referral to the Advertising Standards Authority may be in order.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: